Richmond, Va. (May 23, 2011) – CRT/tanaka, an award-winning public relations and marketing firm known for its whatcanbe workplace culture and approach to business, has announced its 2011 whatcanbe Award winners. The whatcanbe Awards celebrate employees who have helped create a bigger, brighter, better future for the agency, clients and community. The 2011 award recipients are Pia Mara Finkell, associate vice president (client category); Priya Ramesh, director of social media (agency category); and Katie Peterson, senior account executive (community category).
Each recipient receives a $2,500 stipend and a one-week sabbatical to create a personal whatcanbe experience.
“CRT/tanaka launched the whatcanbe Awards to celebrate employees who use whatcanbe thinking to create a more exciting and expansive future for the agency, our clients and the community-at-large,” said Patrice Tanaka, CRT/tanaka co-chair, chief creative officer and whatcanbe ambassador. “The work of Pia, Priya and Katie are wonderful examples of the whatcanbe spirit at work.”
Client Award Winner – Pia Mara Finkell
An essential member of CRT/tanaka’s Consumer Practice, Finkell helped to build the agency’s food & beverage specialty through her award-winning work for Vibrant Rioja (Wines from Rioja, Spain). Helping to increase the multi-million dollar Vibrant Rioja campaign budget by nearly 70 percent, Finkell’s work for Rioja has won numerous national awards including a 2009 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Bronze Anvil and a 2009 SABRE Award. Vibrant Rioja also is a finalist for a coveted 2011 Silver Anvil (Marketing Business-to-Business: Products category) given by PRSA, which will be awarded Thursday, June 9, 2011. A trained pastry chef with French and Italian language skills, Finkell also helps manage the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers account, which recently took home a 2011 PRSA Richmond Capital Award of Merit in the video news release (PR tactics) category.
Agency Award Winner – Priya Ramesh
In her capacity as CRT/tanaka’s director of social media and general manager of the agency’s Washington, D.C. office, Ramesh has worked to grow the agency’s reputation in the areas of social media and online engagement. A major contributor to CRT/tanaka’s blog – The Buzz Bin – her posts on developing thoughtful strategies and leveraging social media in practical ways have been the most trafficked and most shared on the blog. Her commentary is picked up regularly by other communications groups in their newsletters and blogger round-ups. The Buzz Bin was named one of the “50 Best Social Media and Technology Blogs in the World” for 2010 by the team at SimplyZesty out of Ireland and the U.K. SimplyZesty focuses on online PR and social media. The Entrepreneur Blog, written by Evan Carmichael, also named the Buzz Bin to its list of the “Top 50 Social Media Blogs of 2010.” In addition to her blogging, Ramesh has been active on the speaking circuit, enhancing the agency’s profile as a key thinker and executioner in social media.
Community Award Winner – Katie Peterson
After being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in early 2010, Peterson started a blog – 1LittlePrick – documenting her life with diabetes. She also started a Twitter account to share her story. Social media also has been a way for her to indulge a growing passion for food, because adjusting to how to prepare and consume food is a fundamental building block for living with diabetes. Her blog talks about everything from her frustrations with the disease to healthy recipes. She frequently participates in the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy (DSMA) tweet chats and posted a special guest entry for one of CRT/tanaka’s clients, the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission, on its blog, Sweet Bytes Blog. For this same client, she also attended the American Association of Diabetic Educators (AADE) conference in August. It was a great opportunity for her to connect with others in the diabetes arena (influencers, educators and companies/organizations), while bringing her own personal experience to the event. This past fall, Peterson joined a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Walk for the Cure team with a number of people with diabetes whom she had met online. She blogged about how amazing it was to meet others with the disease face-to-face and to raise money for Type 1 diabetes research.
CRT/tanaka is an award-winning public relations and marketing firm known for its whatcanbeSM workplace culture and approach to business. Headquartered in Richmond, Va., and New York, with offices in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Norfolk, Va., CRT/tanaka features four integrated specialties – Consumer, Health, Corporate and Interactive/Social Media. The agency has been recognized with more than 300 national and regional awards for its strategic counsel, creativity, workplace culture and community service. Clients include Air New Zealand, BISSELL Homecare Inc., Cambria Suites, Charles Schwab & Co., Council for Responsible Nutrition Foundation, Council of Better Business Bureaus, Del Monte Fresh Produce, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, Girl Scouts of the USA, Network Solutions, Sprint Nextel and Wines from Rioja (Spain). More information about CRT/tanaka is available at www.crt-tanaka.com.